Mubarak challenges millions of Egyptian people by insisting on staying in power

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February 10, 2011 22:18
mubarak fools egyptians

Egypt's President Hosni Mubarak gestures during the address to the nation in this grab taken from video February 10, 2011. Photo - Reuters/Egyptian State TV

Who: Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak.

What: The deeply unpopular Egyptian leader enraged millions of people gathered in Cairo’s Liberation Square when he refused to step down and urged the protestors to go home. “I will not stand down until an elected government can take over,” he said while addressing the nation.

Where: He made the speech while trying to calm down millions of people gathered in Cairo’s main square and in other Egyptian cities.

When: Mubarak’s address came late on Thursday night.

Why: The Egyptian dictator insisted he will not listen to diktats from abroad. “I believe that the majority of Egyptians know who Hosni Mubarak is and it pains me what has been expressed by some people from my own country,” he reiterated in his speech while promising to put the interests of the nation first and put Egypt above any consideration. “I will remain adamant to shoulder my responsibility, protecting the constitution and safeguarding the interests of Egyptians (until the next elections). This is the oath I have taken before God and the nation, and I will continue to keep this oath,” the 82-year-old ruler declared.

How: The Egyptian dictator stuck to his earlier announcements of not seeking re-election in September. He did give some signals of transferring powers to Omar Suleiman, the vice-president, but did not explain them. His vice president joined the chorus and asked the protestors to ‘go home’ and ‘go to work’. Millions of protestors gathered in streets and open spaces in Egyptian cities condemned Mubarak’s comments and chanted angry slogans against him. Pro-democracy protesters were expecting Mubarak to resign on Thursday evening but the Egyptian dictator’s speech turned their mood of celebration into extreme anger.

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